18:1: Arjuna said: O mighty armed one, I desire to know the truth about the different types of renunciation and the forsaking of the material world, O God of the senses, O Killer of the daitya Ke*î.3
18:2: The Blessed One replied: The sages call the renunciation of desirable activities sannyasa, and the forsaking of fruitive activities tyaga.
18:3: According to some pundits, all activities should be forsaken as contamination, whereas others say that acts such as sacrifice, charity and austerity should never be abandoned.
18:4: Hear My opinion about forsaking, O best of the Bharatas. O tiger among people, it has been said that there are three kinds of forsaking.
18:5,6: Acts of sacrifice, charity and austerity should never be forsaken. Sacrifices, charities and austerities ought to be performed as they purify even the pundits.
By forsaking all attachment to the fruitive results of these activities, they should be performed, O child of Partha. This is My decisive and supreme teaching.
18:7: Renunciation of obligatory activities is not appropriate. Their renunciation is declared to be in the quality of ignorance.
18:8: One who thus forsakes these bodily activities out of fear of suffering or because they are a hindrance, forsakes the fruitive results in the quality of passion and does not obtain success.
18:9: Those activities which ought to be performed, which are obligatory, O Arjuna, and which are performed, forsaking attachment to fruitive results, are considered to be in the quality of goodness.
18:10: Pervaded by the quality of goodness, the intelligent forsaker does not despise that which is inauspicious nor cleave to that which is auspicious, thus all doubts are destroyed.
18:11: No one who is endowed with a material body is able to completely forsake all activities, but one who forsakes fruitive activities is to be considered a forsaker.
18:12: Three kinds of fruitive reactions accrue after death to those who do not forsake - undesirable, desirable and mixed - but none whatsoever for those who are renounced.
18:13, 14: O mighty armed one, know from Me these five causes as presented in the Sankya system (the yogic method of systematic investigations leading to insights into the nature of material existence and culminating in spiritual realization), which is declared to be the culmination of all actions, for the perfection of all activities:
1. The body, 2. the indwelling doer, 3. the various instrumental causes, 4. the diverse functions and destiny, which is here the fifth.
18:15: Whatever activities a person performs with the body, speech or mind, whether right or wrong, is produced by these five factors.
18:16: This being so, a person who sees oneself as the sole doer of activities, due to a lack of intelligence, sees not; her or his opinion is degraded.
18:17: One whose nature and intelligence is not contaminated by false ego, although engaged in killing all these mortals, actually kills no one and is not bound.4
18:18: Knowledge, the object of knowledge and the knower are the three catalysts of action; the three-fold conglomeration of activities are the instrumental cause, the activity and the doer.
18:19: Knowledge, activity and the doer are of three kinds according to their qualitative divisions, as is declared by the Sankhya philosophy's5 erudition on the gunas. As is right, hear of these as well.
18:20: Know that knowledge by which one sees the undivided, immutable nature manifested in the diverse living beings to be in the quality of goodness.
8:21: But know that knowledge to be in the quality of passion by which one perceives within the variegated life forms various kinds of living entities.
18:22: But that knowledge to which one is attached without reason, as though it were the whole of one's duty although it be only a fragment, which is devoid of the wealth of truth and hence is insignificant, is said to be in the quality of ignorance.
18:23: Activities which are obligatory and are performed without attachment, which are executed without love or hatred by one who does not desire fruitive results, such activities are said to be in the quality of goodness.
18:24: But those activities by which one strives out of a false sense of self in order to obtain some desired object, or which are performed with intense effort, are said to be in the quality of passion.
18:25: Those activities which are heedlessly begun and which are performed in delusion, without regard to the consequences of destruction, injury or personal ability, are said to be in the quality of ignorance.
18:26: One who is liberated from attachment, is devoid of false ego, is resolute, endowed with enthusiasm and who is steadfast in perfection or imperfection, is said to be in the quality of goodness.
18:27: That doer who is impassioned, who desires fruitive reactions, is greedy, barbarous, impure, and who is motivated by happiness and misery, is said to be in the quality of passion.
18:28: That doer who is uncontrolled, materialistic, rigid, crafty, malicious, lazy, despondent and procrastinating is said to be in the quality of ignorance.
18:29: With resoluteness hear, O Dhananjaya, of the divisions of the intellect and of the three qualities of material nature. These I will now completely reveal to you.
18:30: That intellect which distinguishes between action and inaction, between what ought to be done and what ought not be done, between fear and fearlessness and between bondage and liberation, is in the quality of goodness, O child of Partha.
18:31: That intellect which confuses what is religious and moral with what is irreligious and immoral, what ought to be done with what ought not be done, O child of Partha, is in the quality of passion.
18:32: That intellect which is pervaded by ignorance and thinks all things to be the opposite of what they really are, which accepts what is irreligious and immoral as being religious and moral, O child of Partha, is in the quality of ignorance.
18:33: That resoluteness by which one sustains the activities of the mind, the vital life energies and the senses through yoga and constant self discipline, O child of Partha, is in the quality of goodness.
18:34: But, O Arjuna, that resoluteness which sustains Dharma, Kama and Artha6 out of a desire for their fruitive results, is in the quality of passion O child of Partha.
18:35: That resoluteness by which a fool does not abandon sleep, fear, lamentation, despondency and intoxication, O child of Partha, is in the quality of ignorance.
18:36: Now hear from Me of the three kinds of happiness, O best of the Bharatas, in which, by regular practice, one is delighted and attains an end to suffering.
18:37: That happiness which is like poison in the beginning but which is like nectar in the end, and which is born of one's intellectual composure, is said to be in the quality of goodness.
18:38: That happiness which is yoked to the senses and their objects, which in the beginning is like nectar but in the end is like poison, is considered to be in the quality of passion.
18:39: That self-delusory happiness which arises from sleep, sloth and negligence in the beginning and as a consequence of, is said to be in the quality of ignorance.
18:40: Neither on the earth, in the heavens, nor again among the devas, is any living entity free from the three qualities which are born of material nature.
18:41: The activities of the brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaishyas and shudras7 are apportioned in accordance with the gunas and are born of their own natures, O Parantapa.
18:42: Born of his own nature, the divine services of a brahmana are tranquility, self restraint, austerity, purity, tolerance, uprightness, knowledge, realization and belief in God.
18:43: Born of one's own nature, the divine services of a ksatriya are heroism, vigor, fortitude, skillfulness in battle, refusal to retreat, generosity and natural leadership ability.
18:44: Born of his own nature, the divine services of a vaishya are agriculture, cow herding and trade while the divine services of a shudra, also born of one's own nature, consists of serving others.
18:45: Devoted each to one's own proper activities, one obtains perfection. Hear how, engaged in one's own divine service, perfection is attained.
18:46: By worshiping God from Whom all living beings are emanated and by Whom all this is pervaded, one obtains perfection by performing one's own divine service.
18:47, 48: Better one's own religious and moral duties, though imperfectly performed, than another's performed well. One attains no fault by performing one's own divine service as ordained by one's own nature.
O child of Kunti, one's natural service should not be forsaken although deficient, for all undertakings are enveloped with fault as fire is with smoke.
18:49: One whose intellect is unattached on every front, who has conquered the self and whose desires are removed by renunciation, attains the supreme perfection which arises from non-action.
Learn briefly from Me about that perfection which, having attained, one obtains Brahman and becomes situated in the highest knowledge, O child of Kunti.
18:51 - 53: Resolutely yoked with pure intelligence, regulating the sense objects such as sound, forsaking attachment and hatred;
Abiding in solitude, eating little, with speech, body and mind restrained, always yoked in meditation, and taking refuge in detachment;
Abandoning false ego, false strength, false pride, desire, anger and extortion, devoid of possessiveness and peaceful, one is eligible for rapport with Brahman.
18:54: Being in concordance with Brahman, clear minded, neither lamenting nor desiring and being equipoised toward all living beings, one attains the highest devotion to Me.
18:55: By devotion to Me, one recognizes who and what I am in truth; thus knowing Me in truth, one enters into Me thereafter.
18:56: Always performing all activities and taking refuge in Me one achieves, by My Grace, the eternal and immutable abode.
18:57: With your consciousness absorbed in Me, taking refuge of Me as supreme, renounce all activities through the yoga of mental renunciation.
18:58: With the consciousness absorbed in Me you will overcome all obstacles by My Grace, but if, due to false ego, you do not hear, then you will perish.
18:59, 60: If, taking refuge of false ego, you say, "I will not fight!" [or "I will not do my duty"] thinking all this to be deceitful, still, your own resoluteness and nature will oblige you.
O child of Kunti, You are bound by karma, which is born of your own nature. Due to delusion, that which you do not want to do, that you will indeed do instinctively.
18:61: O Arjuna, the Master of all living beings dwells in the heart, and by God's illusory power the Blessed One causes all beings to roam about as though mechanically.
18:62: O descendent of Bharata, with all your being seek out and take refuge of the Blessed One; by God's Grace attain supreme peace and the eternal abode.
18:63: Thus to you has this knowledge been detailed by Me which is more secret than the most concealed. Pondering fully on all this, then do as you want.
18:64: Because you are exceedingly dear to Me, hear from Me again the most confidential and supreme word which I will declare for your benefit.
18:65: With your mind fixed on Me, be My devotee. Make sacrifice to Me and offer obeisances unto Me; truly you will come to Me. I promise you this because you are dear to Me.
18:66: Abandoning all types of religious and moral duties take refuge in Me alone. I will liberate you from all inauspiciousness; do not grieve.
18:67: This is never to be spoken of by you to one who is not austere, who is not a devotee, who does not perform service, nor to one who is envious.
18:68 - 71: One who teaches this transcendent esoteric knowledge to My devotees due to supreme devotion to Me, will come to Me without a doubt.
Among mortals there is none whose service is dearer to Me than that persons, nor will there ever be one dearer in all the world.
And one who studies this sacred conversation of ours, by that person I will be worshipped by the sacrifice of knowledge, thus is My opinion.
Also, that faithful person, who is free from envy and who hears this, is liberated and attains the auspicious planets of the righteous.
18:72: O child of Partha, have you heard this with a focused mind? Has your ignorance and delusion been dispelled, O Dhananjaya?
18:73: Arjuna said: By Your Grace my delusion is destroyed and my memory is regained, O Acyuta.8 I am firm and freed from all doubts. By Your word I will act.
18:74: Sanjaya said: Thus have I heard the conversation between Shri Krishna and that great soul Arjuna. It is wonderful and makes my hair stand on end.
18:75: By the mercy of Vyasadeva I have heard this supreme esoteric yoga system directly narrated by Krishna, the Master of yoga Himself.
18:76: O king, remembering again and again this wonderful and holy conversation between Shri Krishna and Arjuna I rejoice.
18:77: Remembering that exceedingly wonderful form of Shri Hari, O king, great is my wonder and I rejoice again and again.
18:78: Wherever there is Shri Krishna, the Master of yoga, and Arjuna the archer, there is opulence, victory, well being, steadfastness and guidance. This is my conviction.
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